Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alan Nayes

It was my pleasure to visit with Alan Nayes recently.  Here's what he had to say....
Where are you from?
Hi, Sue. First I would like to say thank you for having me on your blog today.   I’m from Texas but have resided in southern California for over the past two decades. Love it out here but get back to my home state as much as possible.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
 When I’m not writing or editing or thinking about my next project, I enjoy reading  and exercising –not at the same time, though.

What is your favorite food?
That’s a tough one because I love all kinds of foods—if I had to choose one meal that I really crave, it would have to be king crab legs or sushi.  That’s two, sorry.  Guess I’ll just have to eat them both.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in college, but it was music. Very quickly I learned I couldn’t sing well—actually not at all--so I took a hiatus from writing until I moved to California where I took some classes in creative writing to relax. Little did I realize then that writing is anything but relaxing—for me, anyway. Now reading, that’s relaxing.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s easy—when I sold my first novel GARGOYLES.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
No, Sue, I think my style is dictated by the story. It varies depending on what I am writing. One of my projects is more literary while most are what I would call “commercial” fiction.  At least, I hope they turn out to be commercial. We’ll see.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Wow, I don’t have to think long for this reply. I find that no facet of writing comes easy to me—except perhaps the initial idea. After that, all work. Perhaps the most difficult aspect is just getting myself to sit down and write--anything. There are times though that my writing really flows and the characters almost seem to be writing the scenes and dialogue on their own—love those sessions. I wish they occurred more often.

What are your current projects?
I have several in the works. HEMLOCK POND  is a horror story about a woman and her young son who move into an old farmhouse with a haunted pond. THE LEARNER is a paranormal love story that I’m still in the process of hashing out. It will be compelling, though. More to come. I’m also busy preparing my two biomedical thrillers/horror novels GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL for kindle and nook releases in the next couple of months—GARGOYLES at the end of June and THE UNNATURAL sometime in July. I’m even working on a childrens’ story, possibly a kindle release in August. RETURN TO UNDERLAND

 What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
 Three words—Don’t give up.   If writing is what you want to do, don’t let anyone else tell you differently. Again—don’t give up. Persistent can pay marvelous dividends.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?
GARGOYLES. Love the main character, Amoreena Daniels, and the plot’s not bad either.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us?
 Love to, Sue. BARBARY POINT  is about  a young woman from Los Angeles who is engaged to a wealthy older man. When her father--whom she never knew because her parents were divorced when she was quite young--suddenly dies, Kelly must fly back to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to close out her deceased father’s estate.  She only wishes to make the trip brief and get home to her stable life in Los Angeles, but unexpectedly, Kelly meets a fishing guide and falls in love.

Who designed the covers?
The cover for BARBRY POINT was designed by Claudia  McKinney. Claudia did a great job I think, and you can see more of her work at http://facebook.com/phatpuppyart.

How did you come up with the title for your book?
Sue, the title for BARBARY POINT came from an actual setting—a family cottage we own on the shores of Lake Winnebago. There is a small point of land on the shoreline that really has no name but I always thought this would be a great place for a love story—the lake, the cottage, the outdoors--and you can fish too, though I never seem to catch anything. However, the drinks sure taste good on the boat.

What are you reading now?
I’m reading novels by a couple of indie authors. Just finished reading PJ  Jones ROMANCE NOVEL and am currently reading Cheryl Shireman’s  LIFE IS BUT A DREAM. My to read list includes Steig Larson’s THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST. Also, Jennifer Egan’s VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Sue, I don’t really have a favorite author. There are so many well-written books out there to chose from it would be difficult for me to name a favorite. I think I’m influenced—and appreciate--any successful author. I read their books and think, “why didn’t I write this?” I’m partially kidding—but they do inspire me to write better stories.

Thank you again for hosting me today, Sue.

***Thank you Alan for allowing us the time to visit.***

MY links:
 website- http://anayes.com/  
 Barnes and Noble.com http://bit.ly/j4mUlk

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Indie Author Interview with DAVID A. CLEINMAN

I was excited to get a chance to visit with David as his name came up on the blog tour I am doing with the Indie Writers Unite group.  I had been seeing his comments on the Facebook pages and following the links he sent out and found them all entertaining, engrossing, thought provoking and just down right useful.  I was interested to see what kind of writer he was.  I was very pleasantly surprised, as you will be when you read thorough his interview.  Be sure to check out his web site, etc., to get the rest of what David is all about. 

Tell us a bit about your family.  I am married to Katrina Cleinman and we have amazing fifteen year old son, Jordan.  We are living in Florida right now, but Katrina and I were born and raised in upstate New York.  Jordan has had the amazing distinction of traveling around the country to keep up with his crazy parents.  I think that’s why he loves fast cars.  Katrina teaches elementary school.  I write and try to look busy.

Tell us your latest news?  My novel, Toys In The Attic has been Indie published as an Ebook and is available through Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

What are your current projects?  I am presently about half-way through the rewrite of my fantasy novel Black Blade.  

When and why did you begin writing?  I began writing when I was in grade school.  I loved writing stories and poetry as far back as I remember.  After I read The Lord Of The Rings, I began my first novel with its own language.  I am also restarting that novel series, and am incorporating the language into both.

What got you interested/started in writing?  Just a love for reading that translated to a need to create.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?  No.  I keep several projects going at once (the real key) but I also read a lot.  Reading is what has always kept my creative spark firing.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?  Kind of like an architect might say form follows function, my plots are less important to me than the characters that live them.  So I start fist with characters, then theme and story, then fill it in with plot.

What inspired you to pen your novel?  This is a tough one.  Basically it was a way for me to get the burden of abuse off my chest, and to also show that even in the worst of times light still shines.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  Believe in the human spirit, no matter how bleak things seem, but take it a step further:  Always fight for hope when all that is available is distress.

What new authors have grasped your interest?
--I really enjoyed Mad Gods Redux by Athanasios.  Excellent historical fiction with an irreverent twist on the whole Christ vs. anti-Christ war.
--Chris Hunter is authoring a series of post apocalyptic novellas from the perspective of a survivor:  The Days And Months We Were First Born
--Talia Jager continues her simple yet profoundly human teen dramas with Teagan’s Story, and most recently: If I Die Young

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?  Epic fantasy is lead by this man for many reasons, but JRR Tolkien created a world that was so tangible, so real, and so complex that it was breathtaking.  His use of language, his impeccable word use, and his mastery of dialogue blended into story that was part prose and poetry, and sing to the reader as they turn the pages.

What book are you reading now?  Blue Valley by Christine DeMaio Rice  This is an eco-thriller with a unique concept and language. 

David has consented to share an excerpt from his new book, "Toys in the Attic":  

Sara spoke up but her voice was not as steady as he would have liked.  “His grandparents will be here Monday.  It’s the best I can do.”

“Just call the cops, damn it.  He threatened to kill Conner.”

“I can’t, Billy.  It could put him in jail with no chance of getting treatment.”

Billy’s reply came out harsh and without mercy.  “Is that so important right now?  I’m sure they’ll figure out that he’s a wacko soon enough.”

“I would consider that, but…”

“But what, Sara?  He’s threatening to kill your son for crying out loud.  Get him the hell out of here!”

“Conner’s going with Frank as soon as Frank gets out here.  He won’t be in harm’s way any more.”

“But you will,” Conner muttered.

“Exactly.  I agree with Conner.  Why would you risk…”

“Because I think it’s partially my fault, that’s why.  He was fine until I asked him to move in, and suddenly he’s a different person.  That’s why.  I can’t explain it, but I’m keeping him here under guard until his family arrives on Monday.”

Billy shook his head but knew that debate was over.  “What guard?”

“Dean White.  Keith’s friend.  Keith will be here in the morning.  I’m paying you extra to stay here, too.  Can you do it?”

Billy nodded, unhappily, but resigned.  “You know I’d do anything for you.”

“Great.  That sets my…”

A loud crash and a grunt came from the house.  Shep showed at the door again and screamed, “Where thefuck … is he.  Where’s Brian.  I saw him.  Get away from me you f…ing hornet.”  He smacked it between his hands, mystery solved, but failed to kill it.

Billy was on the porch and could see Frank lying motionless on the kitchen floor.  Sara’s entire silverware drawer was out and broken, the contents strewn everywhere.  Billy shoved Shep back into the house.

“You little bastard,” he snarled.  He hit Shep dead on in the jaw deliberately, and knocked him out cold.  He used Shep’s own belt to secure him.

Billy shook Frank with urgency.  “Frank.  Come on.  Wake up.  Come on.”

Frank came around, and winced.  He rubbed the top of his head and sat up.  Slowly he got to his feet.   

“What an idiot I am,” he said, softly.

“What happened?”  Billy asked.

“He said he needed a cup of tea.  He put the kettle on, got a cup down, and opened the drawer for a spoon.  Next thing I know he spun around and smashed the drawer right on my head.  He’s a hell of a lot faster than I am, that’s for sure.”  He moved slowly, and Sara took Conner by the hand and went into the house.  She got an icepack for Frank and made him sit at the kitchen table.

Billy tossed Shep, still unconscious, over his shoulder and walked with him to the utility shed.  He put him in, somewhat gently, and locked the door with its padlock.

He remained in front of the door, taking just a minute to grab a folding chair from the porch.  He opened it, sat down, and called over to Sara.  “I’m staying right here.  He either stays put or jumps the thirty feet out the back window.  Either way, problem solved.”

Sara nodded, relieved to have her house back, and began to make Conner a late lunch.  Laying on the floor near the couch, was a book of poetry that Shep had been writing in.  Conner found it as he glanced around the house looking for damage Shep might have done.

He read through it, not really understanding much of it, but he read a very disturbing rhyme that could have come from Silent Hill.
Brian the creep
Brian the cheat
Stab his heart
Make him part
With life and Love
And Send him above
Where he’ll think all is well
Until God sends him to Hell
Blood will spill
Veins will chill
Good Shep will grin
as blood drips down his chin

Where to find books, Info, website, etc.:
David’s writing blog, where you can learn about him and his books, but also about other authors and their works as well:  http://www.davidcleinman.com/writings
Toys In The Attic: 

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.